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U.S. Government - Exam 1 Study Guide

U.S. Government - Exam 1 Study Guide - O'CONNOR CH 1 THE...

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O'CONNOR CH. 1, THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE Functions of Government (pp. 5-6) Governments are made up individuals and institutions and are the vehicles through which policies are made and the affairs of the state are conducted. Several of the Framer’s of the U.S. Constitution believed that the major function of government was creating mechanisms to allow individuals to solve conflicts in an orderly and peaceful manner Governments have many functions including: 1. Establishing justice – system of laws 2. Ensuring domestic tranquility - post 9/11 the US gov., states, and local gov. took extra measures took ensure national harmony 3. Providing for a common defense – President = Commander and Chief – Congress = authority to raise an army 4. Promoting the general welfare – Framers would be surprised at the size of the US gov. today. Promoting the general welfare was more and ideal than a mandate for the gov. – no universal agreement on the scope of gov. 5. Securing the blessings of liberty – Ensuring our freedoms are protected and providing services for the good of society In U.S. context, most government functions are included in the preamble of the Constitution. Governments take many different forms and depending on the number who rule as well as whose interests are represented Democracy and Republic Democracy – from the Greek word demos (the people) and kratia (power or authority), is a system of Government that gives power to the people directly or through their elected representatives. Aristotle called rule of many for the benefit of citizens a “polity” and referred to rule of many to benefit themselves as a “democracy” Majority of governments worldwide are democracies to one extent or another Two types: 1. Direct Democracy 2. Indirect (Representative) Democracy Republic – a system of government in which the interests of the people were represented by more educated or wealthier citizens who were responsible to those who elected them. In early US history colonizers preferred the term republic over democracy because the term democracy conjured up Hobbesian fears of the people and mob rule Also called Representative Democracy, but more commonly called Republic Social Contract Theory, ideas of Hobbes and Locke Social Contract Theory – The belief that people are free and equal by God-given right and that this in turn requires that all people give their consent to be governed; espoused by John Locke
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influential in the writing of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) English theorist of the seventeenth century Argued that humanity’s natural state is war ( Leviathan ) Believed government/monarchy was necessary to restrain humanity’s cruel tendencies Without gov. was considered the “state of nature” o Without written/enforceable rules people would like animals To escape this horrible “state of nature” people must give up certain rights to
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U.S. Government - Exam 1 Study Guide - O'CONNOR CH 1 THE...

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